Definitions of Commonly Used Personal Injury Terms
Assumption of Risk – this means that the injured party was a contributory factor in the injury, and can serve to reduce or even eliminate the liability of the manufacturer.
Attractive Nuisance – this certainly does not mean the new neighbor with legs up to her armpits who insists on taking a short cut across your front lawn and accidentally ran over your foot – this is something very different to that. A property owner may be held liable for any injuries to trespassers (particularly children) on their land, if there is an injury which is caused by something hazardous on the land (either an object or simply the condition of the land) if there is something on the land which is likely to attract children to it. Children cannot necessarily appreciate the risks involved by the object or condition of the land.
Comparative Negligence - this one is banded around quite frequently when you’re talking about personal injury law, and refers to who is actually responsible for the injury in the first place. Comparative negligence is a rule which is applied when an injured person is partly responsible for their own injury and the recovery is therefore reduced proportionately. If you’re deemed to be equally responsible for your own personal injury then some states will barr the recovery altogether.
Failure to Warn – manufacturers must provide adequate instructions and warnings for the safe use of their products, and if they fail to do so, then they can find themselves in hot water. We’re talking about things like the maximum weight bearing capacity of step-ladders, the age at which a child may safely play with a specific toy, the number of over the counter drugs it is safe to take within a 24 hour period – that sort of stuff.
Joint and Several Liability – this rules that each and every party which contribute to causing any personal injury can be held individually liable for the injury, and therefore the total damages.
Manufacturing Defect – there are a few definitions which can easily become confused. A manufacturing defect simply means that the product was not manufactured exactly as it had been designed.
Misuse of Product – on the other hand, means that the injured party was definitely a contributory factor for the personal injury, and can reduce or even eliminate completely the manufacturer’s liability.